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With the advent of ride sharing apps Hire A Car In Most Major Cities Worldwide With Uber And MyTaxi Hire A Car In Most Major Cities Worldwide With Uber And MyTaxi You'd expect by now that hiring taxis with an app on your fancy GPS-enabled device to tell the drive your location would be an everyday event, right? Wrong. Read More , Lyft is one that has somewhat risen to prominence. With drivers in cities all the way from Los Angeles to Brooklyn, the Lyft service, which utilizes normal drivers in their personal cars with easily identifiable gigantic pink mustaches on their front bumpers, is growing as users are taking both the time to ride and drive.

Need a ride? Just plug in your location via GPS How GPS Works [MakeUseOf Explains] How GPS Works [MakeUseOf Explains] As an avid gamer, I’m surprised by the correlation between GPS-like features in modern video games and the proliferation of GPS technology in mundane life. When I was a kid, paper maps and cartography were... Read More using the Lyft app, and a driver (who will be verified with a photo and a phone call) will come right to you. You hop in, tell them where to go, and you’re set. Benefits for you? It’s typically cheaper than a cab, and it’s much more social. Benefits for the driver? They can work wherever they want, and tips – due to the cheapness of the fare – are typically pretty darn good.

If you’re going to try Lyft in any of the cities featured on their website, we recommend considering these five tips before you hop in. Check them out!

Always Verify Drivers

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Lyft does complete a thorough background check for each of its drivers (but we don’t necessarily know the details of what those actually are). Each time you request a ride, a photo of the driver and his or her car will pop up on your phone. You’ll also likely get a phone call from them to confirm you are ready to go, and boom, you’re set.

We’re not saying that Lyft hires any potential serial killers or psychos, but do realize that hey, you’re getting in a car with a complete and total stranger. Simply put, just use your intuition when hopping in the vehicle. While cab companies provide their own vehicles and have a roster of drivers with set work schedules, Lyft offers a little more freedom to its employees, offering a work-when-you-want-to type of system.

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Be Ready For Your Ride

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If you’re having a night out on the town in an area with a lot of foot traffic and need a ride home, sometimes the Lyft driver will go to a nearby location within walking distance to avoid crazy cabbies. Most drivers are usually within 5 to 10 minutes away when you request them, but do take that time to get to the agreed location in which the driver will pick you up – don’t leave them hanging.

For some people, Lyft is often an introductory form of income when they move to a new city or may be their current full-time gig between jobs. It’s a very important resource for drivers, and any extra time waiting on you prevents them from moving to the next rider.

Rate Your Driver Honestly

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The Lyft community requires a great deal of user input, so when you’re asked to rate your driver at the end of the trip, take it seriously. If you had a poor experience, let Lyft know. How else can they be aware that your driver nearly ran over three pedestrians on your way to the airport? On the other hand, if the driver was wonderful, make it rain with those stars. This way Lyft can know who their best employees happen to be!

It’s unfortunate that ratings have to be the check-and-balance system for Lyft rather than proper supervisors and such, but it’s simply the nature of the beast. With a service app based on social interaction, that’s just how it has to be.

Embrace The Social Culture

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Cabbies are sometimes silent. Lyft drivers are almost required to be talkative. The whole concept of Lyft is about taking people with their own individual stories and backgrounds and then placing them in one of the most intimate settings possible: a car! It’s an interesting way to socialize and is very different to most social media concepts 6 Free Social Media Guides All Business Owners Should Read 6 Free Social Media Guides All Business Owners Should Read If you run a business and want to take your social-media efforts to the next level, you want to download and read these free guides. Read More .

While somewhat unconventional, give your driver the customary fist bump and get to know them! You may never see them again, so enjoy the time while it lasts.

Please Do Tip

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American tipping culture is a little confusing for some, and we know that. While Lyft hasn’t quite made its way outside of the U.S., we’re sure that it will happen sometime in the future. Tipping is a little different for this service – the app suggests a “donation” of sorts. That said, if you happen to be visiting the U.S. and opt to utilize Lyft (which would probably be a good idea anyway) you’ll likely be expected to tip. Just keep that in mind.

It also appears that most drives have a $5 minimum, and while there’s no “socially acceptable” percentage as of yet, the 15-20% standard may still apply. Note: If you are a Lyft driver, we really would appreciate your input on this subject matter!

Have you used a Lyft yet? What other ride sharing services have you tried out? Do you have any tips for using ride sharing services?

  1. Presley
    November 20, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Just want to clarify, lyft drivers no longer get 100% of their fares. Your percentage depends on how much you drive. You have to drive over 50 hrs a week to get the whole fare minus fee. Also, tipping is very much appreciated, but doesn't happen nearly as often as this article suggests. 10-15% is a good number. It's enough to cover what lyft takes or at least a tank of gas.

  2. Sue
    August 1, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Does your auto insurance company know you are operating a livery service (accepting money for offering rides to the general public)? If they don't, you could be in for a big unpleasant surprise when you have a claim. Typically, "for hire" vehicles are excluded from personal auto policies. Get a commercial policy can be many times more expensive. Please look in to it to know where you stand.

  3. Anonymous
    July 28, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    Lyft passenger here.
    In areas with 1 way streets, wait somewhere the direction you want to go. Oftentimes half a block walk around the corner saves the driver 5 minutes and gets you going where you want much faster.

  4. Kyle Petzinger
    July 28, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Currently Lyft (and Uber) driver here. Tipping on Lyft is in no way required and really should be reserved for extraordinary service/accommodation. Basically, go with the "European" tipping model (wow this person was awesome, here's a tip), not the US model (optional, but not really). Currently Lyft drivers take home 100% of the fare (minus a $1 safety fee per ride) and the fares are set up in a way that you can make pretty decent money, especially when working nights and weekends.

    And I echo one of your points: be ready for your ride. I can't tell you how annoying it is when people request me and I'm stuck there waiting for you for 10-15 minutes. It should never be a surprise to you when your driver shows up...it's right on the screen in front of you!

    Finally, it would make life much easier (and fares cheaper) if people requested rides from spots that allow for easy pick up. I live in San Diego and oftentimes people will just request a ride right in front of a busy street downtown that doesn't have any room to stop. Legally, I need to pull aside somewhere safe to pick up riders, so sometimes they have to follow me around/down the block. Safe yourself the hassle and move to a less crowded area with somewhere open so I can pull over.

    • Anonymous
      July 31, 2014 at 6:10 am

      What do you mean "Tipping on Lyft ... really should be reserved for extraordinary service/accommodation."? Do you tip your server in a restaurant only when the service has been "extraordinary" or do you give an extraordinary tip in that case? I don't know what you consider "pretty decent money", but the tips, mostly $1 to $3 , do make a difference since there is no base pay.

      Even though the driver gets 100% of the fare, the fares really are low, especially when compared to regular cabs. While there is rarely more than 5 minutes wait time for the passengers, there is downtime between trips and unpaid time/mileage to the pickup for the drivers.

    • Kyle Petzinger
      August 4, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      Hi Anonymous,

      I say tip for extraordinary service/accommodation because that's what Lyft has told us to do the entire time. Here's their support article (https://www.lyft.com/help/article/1003538) where it says: "After an especially delightful ride, you might feel inspired to tip your driver. It's certainly not required, but tipping goes a long way to encourage community drivers who go the extra mile." Pretty clear to me.

      Just because it uses the term "tip" doesn't mean it should function like the (extremely ineffective) tipping system in place restaurants.

      I know I'm in the minority as a driver, but I feel I'm being compensated fairly for the work I'm completing. Frankly, being a Lyft / Uber driver is NOT hard, and expecting these companies to pay salaries like a full-time career is just not realistic or deserved.

    • Sheila Russo
      June 11, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      I just can't possibly imagine a driver taking this position on tipping. I give people safe rides at great prices, I don't offer them sticky candy bars and after dinner mints but I do expect a tip for that great safe ride. It's a cab ride not a party bus, how extrodinary can it be. When I go to my favorite restaurant I do not want the waiter or waitress involved in my table conversation, but if his service is good i.e. he knows his job well, he will be tipped very well. I am not out there for nothing and I am not a Carnegie or a Morgan. Are you working for Uber . . They do have people who are pro-Uber and drink regularily for the corporate Kool-Aid fountain . Not saying you are but they are out there trying to form their own corporate image.

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